When I first saw the announcement that Kevin Spacey would star in a movie about a man being trapped in a cat’s body, I was intrigued. The story line sounds cute: Spacey plays billionaire businessman Tom Brand, a man who never has time for his wife and daughter. When he needs a present for Rebecca’s 11th birthday, Brand visits a mysterious pet store and leaves with a cat named Mr. Fuzzypants. After getting into an accident, Tom wakes up to find himself magically trapped inside the cat’s body. As his family adjusts to life with the strange cat, Brand must figure out a way to become human again.

That all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Sadly, after watching the recently released trailer for the movie, I’m not at all happy with this movie. In the 2 minute 22 second trailer, there are three incidents that show the cat bouncing off a wall, landing on his face, and (seemingly) being tossed across a room. Yes, I realize that these scenes were done with computer animation and not with a real live cat. Arguably, some people would say that this is no different than a Tom and Jerry’s cartoon, but I think it is different when these types of scenes portray a real cat.

I don’t like to see cats used like this for comedic effect. It sends a message that it’s funny when a cat lands on his face, or flies across a room. To me, this is like the use of gratuitous violence in other movies. These scenes couldn’t possibly be vital to the film’s plot, as least not if the description provided by the production company is accurate. So why go there at all?

So, as much as I love the premise of the story, I will not be going to see Nine Lives when it opens in August.

Here’s the trailer – I invite you to make up your own mind, and share your views in a comment.

44 Comments on Why I Won’t Be Watching Nine Lives

  1. I agree. I saw the commercial for this movie on tv and am quite upset by what I saw. It seems to me it encourages cruelty to cats. I love cats. I love all animals. There is no way I would ever even think of seeing this movie. I wish there would be a total boycott by peta, humane society, etc. This makes me really sad.

    • Totally agree. I will boycott this movie & encourage others to do the same. Why give some sicko any more ideas than they already have!!!

    • I agree. I saw the movie over the weekend with my grand-daughter and felt totally appalled. I think it promotes cruelty towards cats. I, therefore, googled the US Humane Society, to see if they had printed any comments, but surprisingly found nothing.

  2. Totally agree about not wanting to see the movie for the reasons stated earlier; sadly there have been WAY too many cases of children UNINTENTIONALLY (thinking cats will be OK) as well as intentionally (tragically thinking it’s funny) deciding to imitate things depicted like in this flick

    Not at all necessary and probably would be a better movie without these scenes

    Not being released until August time to still cut scenes!

  3. I agree with you, Ingrid. I have no desire to see the movie. I can only endorse Will Hodges’s comment.

  4. I am an animal lover and a guy with a sense of humor. We have previously attended Feline Film Festivals where more than 1/2 of the video’s attempted to highlight the humorous value in cats falling or tumbling. My wife and I stare a laugh or a story almost daily about some nutty thing that one of our 4 cats dis that day. I doubt that this movie will present a point of view other than animals, cats in particular, often fall in awkward ways, an it is often funny. The fact that this movie appears to target families and junior high school aged girls (key character) makes me doubt that an abusive tone towards animals or cats is the objective. With all of the homeless cats that are available for adoption, I am hopeful that this movie will make families want to go out and get a funny cat of their own.

  5. There was a show on the BBC a few years ago with an episode where an assassin kills a cat. I just stopped watching it after that. I don’t find humor in treating a cat like something out of a cartoon and don’t think this anything like Tom & Jerry. It just seems tasteless.

  6. years ago I wanted to see the movie The Brother’s Grimm. It was a good movie, but half way through one of the actors kicked a cat and it flew halfway across the room. The audience laughed, I very much wanted to get up and leave the theatre, but I knew I wouldn’t get my money back and no one would ever care that I did. So I stayed, and it colored the rest of my viewing of the show. Without that scene it might have been a movie I would have seen a few times, but with it, I simply can not stand it.

    I’m not watching the trailer because I don’t want them to think there is any more interest in this movie.. While there is something to be said that this happens to the father while he is a cat and not really to the cat.. I still don’t think violence is the answer nor the question nor is it funny. I am sick and tired of people telling me to lighten up and get a sense of humor when it comes to things like this. Would it be okay if it were a dog? would it be okay if it were a child? would it be okay if it were you? If you can answer yes to all of these things, then that is one thing, but if even one of these makes you pause and wonder, then no.. it is not okay and it is not funny nor should anyone be ‘forced’ into thinking this is ‘funny’

  7. Wow! You guys are the reason most animal advocates are thought of as obsessive and with having a warped perception. I myself am a huge cat and dog lover and rescuer. But I think anyone with a sense of humor can appreciate this trailer /movie for exactly what it is. A family movie, where the father not the family cat is the target. It’s funny because absolutely nothing he does resembles the normal behaviour of a cat. The fact that so many people are so offended by this children’s movie clearly says something about you… why don’t you put more of your focus on the joys of animal rescue than the sadness of abuse.

    • well, having dealt with the aftermath of cats being kicked, or thrown against a wall, or set on fire.. there is something that just isn’t funny about seeing it depicted – even when we KNOW it isn’t real.

    • Growing up, I watched dogs getting kicked and whipped, kittens drowned and an adult cat getting swung by its tail, and a hedgehog set to flames by other Children! This was, necessarily I have to say, not done by my family or friends of my family, but other people.
      And it made me, to this date, not thinking of “animated” annimal abuse as fun, not at all!

  8. There is no way I would watch this movie! Tom & Jerry is exactly that, a CARTOON, the thought of it being real is so wrong, what are kids going to think? That it’s okay to throw cats around? I’m sorry, but there’s no way I would watch that at all, it encourages violence against animals.

  9. I actually think Kevin Spacey can be so off the wall he may be trying to say humans are not nearly as smart, wise, careful, by far, as cats. It is silly and off the wall but I think the message is to show the radical contrast between cats and humans’ non-thinking, random, non-intelligence, often.

  10. I watched the trailer way back in early spring and had already thought , neghh! Movie looks vapid and silly. Good point though, I agree with your article. I think they are aiming for a kid/family audience and that’s not how I want kids thinking of cats either.

  11. I had such high hopes… I absolutely adore Kevin Spacey and nearly everything he does, but I’m very disappointed as well. It could have been so good, but it looks like they’re taking too many wrong turns for the sake of slapstick humor and at the expense of cats. It’s too bad. I remember a film called Fluke were a man who died in a car accident came back as a dog to reconnect with his family. It was beautifully done and so very touching. I’d love to see something like that, but with a cat as the star.

    I won’t be seeing this one either.

    But I am looking forward to the animated movie, The Secret Lives of Pets, this summer.

  12. Wow, I wouldn’t have heard of this if it weren’t for you. Thanks, Ingrid! That said, I kind of agree with what Melissa said – this is basically about punishing the father. Still… not my idea of entertainment. (I mean, in my own “The Ninth Life,” which has a similar concept, the dangers faced by the cat are all part of him being a hero – and he survives, of course).

  13. I agree! but we need to go further: how can we protest this film? I wonder if PETA is doing anything about it? I hate any depictions of abuse of any animals….sickening.

  14. I agree with all the above comments!!! What can we do to BAN these kinds of movies, the U.K. bands our movies constantly…why can’t we the people ban such movies right here at home?!#

  15. It’s sickening. Kids raised on video games and animated animal toys won’t understand that these are all tricks—that cats don’t do this and can get hurt, maybe killed, if they did. Worse, it excites and titillates all the sickies out there will “try this at home.” Anything for the almighty buck $$$$.

  16. It doesn’t matter whether or not I — or anyone else who reads this newsletter — watch the trailer. I believe that we’re already pretty clear about what’s acceptable treatment of animals. What matters is that this is likely to be viewed by an audience — primarily kids — whose attitudes & behavior are influenced by what they see on the movie or computer screen. There’s enough cruelty & inappropriate behavior toward animals out there. I’d like to believe that parents are educating their kids that not everything on the big screen is OK in life, but that’s not the case. Cartoons are clearly just that; movies are too close to real life to feature this kind of imagery.

  17. I understand why you feel as you do. I’m torn though. While I don’t condone violence toward animals AT ALL, I mostly saw the father as the one being punished through the slapstick cat antics. Not unlike the Three Stooges.

  18. I am with you! I hated seeing the video clip of “cats and cucumbers”. I didn’t think it was funny to intentionally traumatize your cat. It doesn’t take much to encourage people to do stupid things to innocent animals.

  19. On the whole nine lives thing- I automatically assumed that everyone knew that was not real. But a little girl recently asked me that question in earnest. I agree it sends the wrong message. Many movies do.

  20. I wouldn’t even watch the trailer to save my blood pressure from going through the roof. I think this movie does send a message that none of us want spread around. Cats DO NOT have 9 lives. It even got me very upset with the statement made in previous seasons of “My Cat from Hell” when Jackson said ,”Cats have nine lives- humans have only one”. It made me crazy!

  21. I did watch it, cause I won’t judge based on others opinion It didn’t look like the cat was thrown, it looked just like the many real cat videos of cats trying to jump and failing. I didn’t see the cat being hurt in any way, I saw that it was loved by the little girl. I did see a Human in a cat body having to lean how to move and having many misses. I happen to have cats and have seen them try for toy or other item and miss as well. I don’t know why people have to bad mouth things without looking at it, and then if they do look at it they read what isn’t shown as negative.

  22. Yes, it seems to perpetuate many of the myths about cats that aren’t true and cause them to be misunderstood and mistreated by people. One of my missions is to educate people about cat behavior and care so they can live more harmoniously with their feline companions. This movie seems to be pandering to the masses with poor attempts at humor. I’m surprised that a serious actor like Kevin Spacey got involved with something like this.



  24. We’re sending our children the wrong message about what’s humane with movies like these.

  25. I totally agree Ingrid!! There are too many people that hurt cats and treat them like a “thing” and I’m afraid that this movie will give more of them “ideas” and more cats will suffer!! I will not see it and would sign any petition to stop it!

  26. I totally agree with you, Ingrid. I can’t even bear to watch the trailer after what you said about this movie; it would upset me to see a cat being treated like that, even if it is computer animation. I hope there is enough outcry from the public (i.e., cat community) to stop this movie from coming out.

  27. You’re absolutely right! I won’t even watch the trailer after reading your reasons. I will not be watching it either. I wish nine lives would have thought those seen through and think of the wrong message it will be sending. I hope nine lives read your article and our comments and reconsider not showing it At all.

  28. After reading your comments, Ingrid, I don’t even want to watch the trailer. Maybe someone could comment on their face book page? I’m not that high tech but I will sign a petition to boycott this movie.

  29. I agree with you Ingrid, I will not be watching this movie when it comes to Sweden, simply because I don’t understand that kind of humor.
    Sad to a point, because Kevin Spacey and Christopher Walken are two of my favorite actors. The cat is adorable, and I will not watch him be thrown against a wall, and almost brake his neck – animated or not.

  30. Agreed, and I have probably one of the most accepting — and quirky — sense of humor of anyone I’ve ever known, simply because it’s the only way I’ve actually survived such hellacious decades of my life to date. But I have two real hot-buttons, and one of them is animal cruelty, even if “only” implied. I cannot get the recent gorilla murder at the Ohio zoo. So I agree, I probably will not support this film by watching nor purchasing it, however available. Too bad; Spacey is extremely talented and could have contributed in a much more productive way without going the cheap humor against innocent animals route.

  31. I agree, too, Ingrid! With the sad and awful things that people sometimes do to these wonderful creatures, the last thing the world needs is people seeing “pretend” violence involving any animal. Our society has desensitized too much anyway, with violence in video games and movies. The last thing we need is people thinking it’s funny to harm animals, because they saw it in a film. Thanks for this article, and for your point of view. You’re right on!

  32. I agree with you, I won’t be going to see it. It’s a shame because the idea would make for a cute -feel good movie and it has a great cast.

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